The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will investigate problems with the brake pedal installed in 121,100 Dodge Darts, the Detroit News reported today.
The NHTSA has received 18 complaints that the brake pedal sticks in 2013 Dodge Dart cars and that braking can suddenly take a longer distance than usual, the article stated, adding that “some drivers report hearing a ‘pop noise or an air hissing noise when applying the brake pedal, followed by a hard pedal feel and reduced brake effectiveness.’”
Other drivers complained of having to use the parking brake to stop the car, or that they had to replace the brake booster and master cylinder to correct the problem.
Fiat Chrysler told the News that it is “fully cooperating” with the investigation.
One driver, whose vehicle had 36,000 miles on it, complained that the braking system shut down at 50 mph. “I feared for my life,” the complaint stated. “It is one of the scariest things I have ever dealt with. I am lucky I am able to write this letter to you.”
The NHTSA announced last week it was expanding to 22 the number of Fiat Chrysler recalls it will review at a July 2 public hearing “and found widespread evidence the automaker has failed to meet legal requirements to fix defects, make replacement parts available, and notify owners and regulators in a timely fashion,” the News reported.
NHTSA said in its notice that it had “tentatively concluded that Fiat Chrysler has not remedied vehicles in a reasonable time and has not adequately remedied vehciles.”
Fiat Chrysler could face up to $35 million in fines for each of the recall campaigns, or have to take action to remedy the problems to meet safety requirements.